Now it's time for one of our regular weekly features: It's the Clown Award, given for meritorious stupidity. And oh, have we got a winner this week.
The winner of Big Red Nose this week is the American Family Association, founded and headed by Donald Wildmon, an anti-gay bigot with a history of anti-Semitism.
Now, that alone would be enough to win the award, but we have a particular reason for this being the week. To explain why, we have to take a step back to talk about someone else. His name was Harvey Milk.
In 1977, we was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming one of the very first openly gay elected officials in the United States. On the Board, he tackled a wide variety of issues beyond gay rights, from child care to housing to a civilian police review board.
Also elected to the Board in 1977 was one Dan White, a conservative who frequently argued with Milk on Board issues and programs. In 1978, White resigned from the Board, saying the pay was not enough. But prodded by his supporters, he changed his mind and asked Mayor George Moscone to reappoint him. Moscone refused, which to White meant that Moscone and Milk were driving San Francisco "downhill" with their liberal policies and worse, their tolerance of homosexuality.
So on November 27, 1978, Dan White snuck into City Hall with a loaded revolver. He got into an argument with Moscone and when Moscone again refused to re-appoint him, White shot the mayor twice in the chest and twice in the head, killing him. White then went down the corridor and murdered Harvey Milk, shooting him twice in the chest, once in the back, and twice more in the head.
At his trial, White claimed diminished capacity and was convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder. He served just six years.
All this is relevant because recently, in recognition of his role in advancing human rights, the US Postal Service recently issued a Harvey Milk postage stamp.
Which brings us back to this week's clowns.
The American Family Association has declared that the stamp came as "a result of seven years of lobbying by a self-described drag queen and former transsexual prostitute" and is honoring "a child predator."
Therefore, the group says, its members and supporters should refuse to buy the Harvey Milk stamp and, get this now, if any mail bearing the stamp arrives at their home or business, they should refuse to accept that mail. They should write 'Return to Sender" on the envelope and tell their postal carrier that they won't accept it.
Because, apparently, the stamp has some sort of gay cooties that infect the letter.
Some people are now suggesting that people send letters with the stamp to the AFA with the words "Donation Enclosed" written on the envelope, which one person called "49 cents worth of fun!"
If you want to join the fun, the address of the AFA is available below.
In any case, one thing is clear: Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association, you have become the new definition of clown.
Sources cited in links:
Address to join the fun:
American Family Association
PO Box 3206
Tupelo, MS 38803